Community Generosity in Action

2023 Impact Report
Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation

You Are the Caring Tradition

In 2023, friends like you contributed more than $2 million to help Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital save lives and improve health here at home. You shopped with us at Martha's Market and played with a purpose at In the Pink Tennis & Pickleball ... flooded our caregivers with more than 300 notes of appreciation for Doctors' Day and Nurses Week ... donated more than 33,500 volunteer hours to support patients, families, and staff at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. 

Together, we cared for patients, fought cancer, fed hungry children and families, created healthcare job opportunity. We tackled our community's most pressing health issues and worked toward a future where everyone has access to the care they deserve.  

Below are a few stories of lives you touched this year. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your partnership and support. 

Advancing Nursing Excellence

"We often see people on the worst days of their life. I love being able to help." Jenna Vitolo, SMJH Emergency Department nurse and scholarship recipient

The Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation annually awards more than $300,000 in community support toward scholarships, awards, and certifications to support nurses and clinical staff. Last year, more than a dozen nurses pursued advanced degrees. Others deepened their expertise by attending national symposiums on end-of-life care and surgical technology. Earn-to-learn programs provided advanced training for clinical staff in sterile instrument processing and other essential skills. Community support also enabled the purchase of educational equipment for the hospital’s simulation lab.

Larry Tropea, Heart Attack Survivor

"You know you need to make changes, but you need help understanding it all." 

Larry suffered a heart attack on January 4, 2023, and was rushed to Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital. Doctors saved his life, and your generosity helped him reclaim it. Because of you, he had access a dream team of nurses, clinical exercise specialists, nutritionists, and physical therapists in our intensive cardiac rehab program. Their skillful and compassionate care gave him the skills and support he needed to transform his life. By September, Larry was 60 pounds lighter, had eliminated multiple medications, and was more energetic than he'd been in years. 

Community generosity provides more than $1 million in support to help nurses and clinical staff gain the skills and training they need to help people like Larry rebound and recover after illness.  

Latanya Smith, Certified Nursing Assistant

"This opportunity to advance my career has meant the world to me. Education is everything in the job market."

Community support enabled LaTanya Smith and more than 20 hospital team members and local residents earn their Certified Nursing Assistant credentials this year. LaTanya has long struggled with financial limitations, family obligations, and other barriers to furthering her education. A free training course launched in 2023 with support through the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation finally enabled her to make it happen. She graduated in June and has already moved from a part-time role on the hospital's Environmental Services team to a full-time position as a patient technician role. 

Workforce development programs are improving access to care and filling the gaps created by a nationwide shortage of healthcare workers.

Lee, Fluvanna Resident, Fresh Farm Market Participant

"The farmer market was such a great experience and I ate so well for a week basically free!"

A disabled veteran, Lee stopped by the fresh-farm market in Fluvanna in June to receive a bag of nourishing vegetables and fruits entirely free of charge. He opted to share his produce with a neighbor, and together they prepared a delicious and healthy meal. As he put it, such programs "encourage community and dignity--food not just for the stomach, but for the soul."

Community support enabled us to scale up the farmstand program this year. More than 1,700 local neighbors like Lee and their families received healthy foods. With one in 10 children in our region living in poverty, and thousands more lacking regular access to healthy food, the fresh farm stands meet an urgent need. Starting in 2024, preventive health screenings will be offered at the markets, to improve access to basic care for people in Louisa, Greene, Albemarle, Fluvanna, and Nelson counties.  

Ann Brown, Radiology Team Coordinator

"The community's support of the massage program helps to keep me working." 

A 19-year veteran of Sentara Martha Jefferson's imaging team, Ann considers massage vital for managing her chronic pain and maintaining the physical flexibility she needs to do her job.

"It's amazing how much 10 minutes a week can do to help your muscles and joints stay loose and prevent injuries," she says.  Sonographers wear heavy lead protective gear for hours each workday and torque their bodies into uncomfortable positions. Many deal with pain on a daily basis.

Community support made possible therapeutic massage, mindful movement, emotional support, and other resources to help our teams care for their own bodies and spirits, so that they can continue to provide exemplary patient care.

Margaret Lee, Western Albemarle High School Student & Junior Volunteer

"I got a glimpse of what an average day is like for a healthcare worker." 

Talented young people like 16-year-old Margaret Lee are the future of healthcare, and your support is helping them pursue their dreams and care for our community. Margaret was one of 32 junior volunteers who donated more than 600 hours of service to the hospital this summer, through an education and workforce development program supported by your generosity.

Margaret is president of the Medical Careers club at Western Albemarle High School, and she spent her volunteer time shadowing a nurse leader on Cornell 2 Oncology nurse.  During her time at the hospital, Margaret was so inspired by the impact of the Acts of Kindness program, a community-funded effort that enables team members to buy small gifts for patients, that she organized a fundraiser for the program  at her high school. 

Wintergreen Fire & Rescue, Nelson County

"People are calling 911 because they have nowhere else to go." Curtis Sheets, Chief, Wintergreen Fire & Rescue

More people are isolated and living in poverty in Nelson County than anywhere else in the Blue Ridge Health District. Strong preventive and primary care are often out of reach, leading to some of the region's highest hospitalization, cancer and suicide rates.  

To bridge the gap, this summer Wintergreen Fire & Rescue launched the first Community Paramedicine program in the Blue Ridge Health District, supported by a $100,000 Sentara Cares grant. Community paramedics focus on prevention and wellness for those most in need, helping them manage chronic illness, secure healthy food and affordable medications, or readjust after a hospital stay.  Similar programs nationwide are demonstrating strong success improving community health. Watch video